Substandard Industrial Safety Blamed For Commercial Aircraft Fire

    Industrial Hygiene Expert

    This case involves several pilots that perished in a commercial aircraft fire. The fire occurred at an industrial gas dispensing station. As one of the pilots was dispensing the gas, the pump sparked and caused the plane to catch on fire and explode. Further investigation revealed that there was no arrester or any other device on site to prevent spark. An expert in industrial safety was sought to opine on the liability for this accident as well as the safest types of pumps for industrial facilities.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Please describe your industrial safety experience with regards to industrial fuel dispensaries.
    • 2. What are the OSHA standards with regards to the types of pumps that should be used in this area?

    Expert Witness Response E-164531

    I was a contractor with an aerospace and defense company supporting Navy shore-based activities under the mishap prevention and hazard abatement program. I have evaluated numerous fueling stations for vehicles and aircraft. Additionally, I am an associate professor of safety engineering and technology as well as hazardous material management and am familiar with the OSHA and department of transportation regulations regarding hazardous materials. Commercial fuel pumps need spark arresters. The OSHA standards with regard to the types of pumps that should be used depend on the location of the event (federal land vs. private, industry vs. construction vs. a mine site). Assuming this was a private organization, this falls under general industry.

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